DUMBO preservation group clashes with BID over proposed Tech Triangle bus route

While an MTA proposal to extend the B67 bus line through DUMBO as part of a new “Tech Triangle” line has garnered praise from local businesses, a neighborhood preservation group says the route will add needlessly to traffic and noise on DUMBO’s already congested streets, and is asking the MTA to move the route a block or two east.

At a meeting held Monday, April 29th at Brooklyn Borough Hall, the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance (DNA) presented an alternate to the MTA’s proposed route, which would bring 24 buses daily into DUMBO along Jay, Front and Bridge streets.

“While we agree with MTA NYC Transit’s initiative to implement a new bus route/extension to connect Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Vinegar Hill communities, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of our neighborhood,” said DNA spokesperson Doreen Gallo.

Make “a slight adjustment to the existing route, which would result in keeping the buses just out of DUMBO proper,” the group requested.

The DUMBO BID, however, representing local businesses and cultural organizations, supports the MTA’s proposed route. “Jay Street has become the main retail corridor of the neighborhood,” said Alexandria Sica, executive director of the BID. “It provides a much-needed connection to the Navy Yard, and local business’s activity will only increase.”

Moving the route a block east would not be ideal because “It’s on the other side of the BQE,” she said. “It would be hidden, and would not connect as directly to the F train. There’s lots of demand in DUMBO. This [the MTA’s] route puts the bus right where it needs to be.”

The Front Street portion of the MTA’s proposed B67 bus extension through DUMBO. Photo by Mary Frost

The Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association came out in favor of the MTA’s proposed route after the city removed the bus line from the Vinegar Hill section of Front Street.

Aldona Vaiciunas, president of the Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association, said in a letter submitted to the MTA at the hearing, “The constituents of Vinegar Hill are in favor with the proposed B67 bus route as is it presented here today as we have worked closely through meeting with the MTA several times and through our petitions to have the bus route re-routed onto York Street instead of continuing along the Front Street corridor.”

MTA’s proposed route, an extension of the existing B67, would extend from Downtown Brooklyn through DUMBO to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It would connect to the York Street (F train) station and the B62 bus (Wythe Avenue). The bus would operate every 30 minutes between on weekdays only, beginning in September.

MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said the agency is still reviewing comments.

“We appreciate the input from the community during the public hearing process and will take all public comment into consideration as we enhance service for our customers by extending the B67 through DUMBO to the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle on Thursday, adding, “This new service will also provide customers with better access to subways.”

Ortiz said a decision about the route will be made “in the near future.”